Tuesday, July 27, 2010

mary, mary: handmade business tip #1

though i certainly don't claim to be an expert in this little gig i have going on, i feel as though there are things i have learned that could be valuable to any one just starting their own business or considering taking the leap.
so,without further ado, i bring you:

yeah, i know, my name's not mary. but jessica, jessica just doesn't have the same ring to it.
i would love to share a few things over the next few weeks and can't wait to hear your input as well. so let's get started!

handmade business tip #1:
be generous
i know, i know, it may seem counterintuitive, but my favorite and most successful method of growing my business is giving something away. of course, i have recently been the recipient of some generosity, so i know this isn't a foreign concept to a lot of you!
from the day i started allora handmade, i truly believed that if i was willing to be generous with my product, my time, and my talents, that things would work. it amazes me to see the result of generosity. being willing to give has infused my business with a frenetic excitement and happy energy that pushes me to do more and do better. AND it just so happens that the awesome by-product is more advertising and more sales. what's to lose? nothing! it's a win-win!
don't miss my sister's big giveaway week over at 30days

when business is slowing down or it just needs a good-old-fashioned kick in the pants, giveaways are my go-to. this month has been my best month ever (with the exception of the autism benefit back in january) and it is no coincidence that i have participated in 4 giveaways this month. when i decided i wanted to go to TCC (before i knew of my sister's awesome surprise) i knew i had to do something crazy to raise the funds. and so, a giveaway each week was my plan. if you are dying to hit a certain milestone in your business (# of sales, $ amount, quitting your day job, etc.) i would highly recommend it.
search out blogs you love whose readers would go crazy for your product. it doesn't hurt to ask if they would host a giveaway for you. don't be afraid to do giveaways for some smaller blogs too. chances are you are helping to bring them a few more readers as well and it turns into a "you scratch my back, i'll scratch yours" situation.
the gist of it is this:
giveaways are a great way to get people talking about you and your business. 
you won't regret it!
(part of this tip was originally written for marta's business and blogging workshop. consequently, marta was one of the first to host a giveaway for me a year ago tomorrow.)

what about you? have you seen good things come from giveaways?


meganluvsjewels said...

Love this post! I have found giveaways to be awesome advertising & lead to sales, followers, and fans! Thanks for posting Jessica!

Tasha said...

I couldn't agree more. Although, I am still in the starting up part of this...and cannot seem to get my shop stocked and to where I want it...I find that giveaways are so great. I keep telling myself once I get my shop a little more to what I want it to be then I am going to search out where I can do some giveaways too. But, in the mean time I just do one or two here or there. Loved this post!!! I cannot wait to see whatelse you are doing to teach us. I am seriously excited.

Anonymous said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. Thank you so much for your expertise!

Andrea said...

First, I love that you are blogging regularly ... so nice to get to know you better on your blog :).

I have to agree that giveaways (big blog, small blog) are the best way of getting your name out. I sometimes wonder if a giveaway was worth it or not, but I don't think you always see an immediate 'pay off' which I have to remind myself of.

Congratulations on an awesome month.

Can't wait to see what else you have to share :).

Emmy said...

I agree that generosity is always rewarded! Besides giveaways {which I too do often} I sent free calendars all over the country when I was starting my business. Friends, family, neighbors families... anyone I knew that lived in a different area and that I thought would be good about spreading the word, and it really helped to grow my business quickly. I also recently started sending some of my products to celebrities, which I have yet to determine the value of, but it is awfully fun to say that Ellen Degeneres and Kelly Ripa have one of my calendars {I tell myself they use them and love them}. I did hear back from a few celebs, which made it all worth it. Dr. Laura and Mary Alice from Ace of Cakes sent me very sweet emails, and the Pioneer Woman's friend placed an order! I'm still waiting to catch a glimpse of one in a tabloid photo! :)

Thanks for the posting!

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